Classic French: Financier Batter

You will recognize Financiers as those little brick-shaped mini cakes known as petits-fours in the classic French pastry lexicon. If you are ever wondering about the definition of French pastries or other foods, I love this blog/website for its French-to-English Food Glossary: Clotilde Dusoulier’s  Chocolate & Zucchini. Her definition: “a small almond cake shaped like a gold ingot”. But Financier Batter can be used for so many things other than the classic and original way. In fact, it should be used for other things because it is so delicious, the rich flavor coming from the browned butter (beurre noisette) and almonds. The name “financier” supposedly refers to these somewhat expensive ingredients. Financier Batter is also good baked as larger cakes or as a layer in tarts or pies.




Make Browned Butter (Buerre Noisette)





Since hazelnut flour is not readily available, you can make it like this:




Financier Batter
A RECIPE FOR WARM ALMOND CAKE: This recipe is a winner, and even though I have tried other recipes for Financiers over the years, I always returned to this one because it had the best flavor. It can be used in many different ways: baked as mini cakes (petits fours) which was the original way, baked as a cake, or used as a layer in tart or pie fillings. I'm sure you can think of other ways to use this batter, made extra delicious with the addition of almonds and browned butter.

YIELD: 575g (1# 4 oz) BATTER

  • 115 grams browned butter (beure noisette), cooled (1/2 cup)
  • - Start with 150g (10 tablespoons) of butter to yield 115g browned (= 76% of original weight)

  • 180 grams egg whites (6 large)
  • 190 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cups + 3 tablespoon)
  • - Divided in half

  • 50 grams almond flour (1/2 cup)
  • 25 grams hazelnut flour (1/4 cup)
  • 75 grams all-purpose flour (1/2 cup + 1½ teaspoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • 635 grams = Total 22 oz (1# 6 oz)

  1. PREP BROWNED BUTTER (beurre noisette) FIRST: Cook the 150g (10 tablespoons) butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Cover loosely with a folded piece of aluminum foil because the water content of the butter causes it to pop and splatter. After 5 minutes, the butter will be foaming. Watch closely the second 5 minutes. As the butter continues to cook, the milk solids in the butter will brown and drop to the bottom of the pan; the butter will turn a golden brown. Skimming off the foam will allow you to better see the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat after about 10 minutes when the solids in the bottom of the pan reach a nut brown. Immediately strain through a fine mesh sieve. Weigh out the 115g (1/2 cup) needed for the recipe and let cool.
  2. BEAT the egg whites In the Kitchen Aid mixer on medium speed until frothy, using the paddle. Gradually add half the sugar with the mixer running. Turn off mixer.
  3. WHISK the other half of the sugar with almond flour, hazelnut flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Sift the flour mixture through a tamis, then add to the egg whites and sugar in the mixer. Mix on medium speed (#5) for 5 minutes until light in color.
  4. ADD the cool beurre noisette and almond extract.
  5. MIX 1 more minute. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  6. REFRIGERATE until ready to bake. Tastes better after 2-3 days in refrigerator. Will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.
  7. USE for any recipe that calls for Financier Batter.
  8. TO BAKE OFF MINI FINANCIER CAKES (Petits Fours): Use cold batter straight out of the refrigerator. Pipe or scoop into desired pans or molds, sprayed with a non-stick spray (Pam with flour), filling about half full. Bake @ 375° F (190° C) until golden brown and firm to touch. Let settle in the pans about 5 minutes before unmolding. Serve warm.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
This recipe was given to me (9/04/98) by Gilles Lavergne, a pastry chef from France who I worked with for a couple of years at Wheatleigh when I first became a pastry chef .

Financier Batter

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!